How to be everyone and no one at the same time
I have a secret.
I can literally turn into any person I want.
It’s true, I can be anyone, and I am freakishly convincing.
I know what you’re thinking.. “here goes Kris on another rant” but stick with me here, I promise there is a point.
My entire life I was blessed with a unique ability. I could act, and I could act well. I remember being able to trick my teachers into believing bold face lies just so I could skip class. I actually was able to convince my high school history teacher that I had a terminal illness, and was unable to finish a semester in their class.
No homework, no questions asked. Sneaky as hell.
Call it want you want, acting, tricking, deception.. but ultimately the correct word for it is lying.
I lied my entire life.
I know, I know. Here I go on another rant… But keep reading, I have a point here.
So after a few years of intense therapy, I was able to discover a common pattern in my past. The pattern was:
- Meet $person
- Manifest reason to want to have $person around
- Pretend to be someone, that the $person would want/need around
- Profit, and be around $person
Where $person could be anyone. Usually these were people like friends, partners, or family members. I literally remember having so many different versions of myself, that I had to write them down just to keep track of them.
This concept of blending in, or camouflaging to fit in is a defensive action. Most people who do this share one common trait, they can be anyone, and still have no sense of self or identity. This is called cameleoning. To be everyone, and no one at the same time.
This “skill” or “ability” was actually really handy to have as I started my career. I was able to meet someone (a boss for instance) and read them fairly quickly. The second I could identify a gap where something in the organization was missing, I could instantly mold myself to fit that gap.
This is called manipulation.
Really terrible people manipulate.
This is down right NOT COOL.
But I have been doing this my entire life. In fact, it took me a number of years to even realize that I was the only person doing this. I kind of thought everybody did this. I genuinely believed that every person I met was fake, and that they were all acting.
Why wouldn’t they be fake? Why wouldn’t they be acting?
I certainly was. It was the only way I could survive.
You might think I had a fairly serious case of imposter syndrome right? Like, if I was spending all this time lying and faking everything, that I must have some sense of being an imposter…
In fact the opposite is true. Being able to change into anyone actually resolved myself of all guilt and responsibility.
How could I be an imposter, if I was lying to everyone in the first place?
It’s not like I was trying to hide it, I was open about it. I knew I was lying, and I didn’t care. I thought everyone was lying all the time. So why would I be any different?
What is your favorite food? What is your favorite band? Your favorite color? Movie?
I literally did not have answers to these for the first 26 years of my life. Sure, I had answers that I would tell people but I would always craft my answers to suite what I thought they would like.
For instance if I new someone was a vegetarian I would make it a point to tell them about my favorite vegetarian place in Denver. If I knew they liked cooking BBQ, I would of course make it a point to mention my favorite ribs place downtown.
But what do I like?
If you were trapped on an island for the rest of your life, what would you want to eat? What would you want to do? This was really hard for me to answer. But I did it, and as it turns out I am completely different than I thought I was originally.
I like sprouts and hummus, who knew? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
It’s helpful to be able to be flexible and adaptive. If you can fit yourself into many positions, then you will be a more valuable person. At some point though, that becomes lying, and that is where things get dangerous.
You should never be someone your not.
You also should never miss out on valuable opportunities to fit yourself into a new space.
But keep it balanced, and be aware when you do it. Try to remember to always be a genuine person, while still jumping all over opportunity. Not many people think this way, and not many people have a natural ability to change so quickly. This is a small secret that I think might help a lot of people who are currently trying to discover who they are, and a warning to never go to far in one direction or the other.
Keep it secret. Keep it safe.
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